# How to Teach Addition With a Number Line as a Tool

This year I wanted to be more diligent about teaching various addition strategies as options for my students to explore to solve simple equations. I wanted to emphasize using ten frames, using number lines and a combination of mental math and touch dots. When it came to using the number line, I wasn’t personally as comfortable since I don’t rely on it to do my own math thinking. But I knew there was a reason we are teaching the 100’s chart and studying relationships with numbers on it.

I realized that my students were getting proficient at modeling addition, but as soon as we try to incorporate discussion or missing addends into the picture… {well, lets just say I see a need there} So I created this number line format game to practice addition and incorporate missing addends.

{Teddy Bear Addition Practice Game}

So, we’ve been working on the standards {and will continue into next quarter}:

• K.OA.1.a Represent addition with objects, fingers, and sounds to identify the meaning of addition as putting together and adding to.
• K.OA.1.e. Represent addition and subtraction by acting out situations and drawings.
• K.OA.4.a State the number that makes 5 when added to any given number 1-4 with objects.
• K.OA.4.b. State the number that makes 10 when added to any given number 1-9 with objects.
• K.OA.5.a. Add fluently, orally or in writing, within 5.

If my students come across an equation like this… __+1=5, their first reaction was to randomly guess.

{WAIT A MINUTE!} Since when did I start teaching the strategy, “Give it a guess and pick any random number??” I’m being facetious with you my readers but it made me realize though we’ve done a good job laying the foundation for what addition is, now we need to develop a sense of using what we know about numbers to apply it to addition.

So, when figuring out a problem and I pose a support question like, “…so if I gave you one more?” and their answers were not connected at all to what they know about numbers… Um… hello! So, we need to continue working on number sense to continue to lay the foundation as we practice these skills and I am excited about using this game to help lay that foundation.

The design of this game is to help students see the connection between the comparative value of each number and the quantity while applying these concepts to the skills of addition. My kinders were having difficulty thinking through how the order of numbers can aid them in addition, so I designed this game to incorporate a number-line style playing mat to teach them to use the order of numbers as a tool.

{number line connected to object placement}

To differentiate the game, there are two levels of play.

• The first set practices addition to 6 focusing on +1 and the role of 0. Select party cards feature missing addends to 5.
• The second set practices addition to 10. Select party cards feature missing addends to 10.

I am using teddy bears as my manipulatives because I never seem to run short on those! I built the back of the cards to be self- checking so that my kinders could even play this by themselves.

With much more practice in lots of varying ways, we shall march onward toward conquering these skills!

Hope you can find this tool helpful for your kinders too! If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.